July 1st, 2015
Les Gorges du Verdon is France’s answer to the Grand Canyon. The plunging canyon slices a 25km swathe through the limestone plateau of the Alpes-De-Haute-Provence foothills. After hiking what is considered the Swiss Grand Canyon aka the Ruinalta Gorge last month, Dan and I were keen to add another grand canyon to our travel experiences and were looking forward to checking out the vibrant teal waters of the Verdon Canyon and Lac de Sainte-Croix. On a side note: oddly enough, I have never been to THE Grand Canyon, you know, that famous one in Arizona. It’s on the bucket list though!
After a scorching start to our Provence holiday with the upper 30 degree Celsius heat wave temperatures, we couldn’t wait to evade the heat and escape down to the waterside with the rest of France, rent a paddleboat for the hour, and feel the wind in our hair as we explore the gorge. Sounds great right? Except we got the lame paddleboat.
It wasn’t until a good ten minutes into us marveling at the stunning geology of the landscape and the glimmering teal water that we became aware that despite our furious quad-killing paddling that we were being passed up by bigger boats in which only one person was leisurely paddling away. Oh well. We soldiered on anyway reasoning that our extra exertions earned us a few additional glasses of wine later that day and a few extra breaks in the shade of the overhanging canyon walls. At times, we found that the wind actually moved our boat faster than our pedaling did, so we propped our feet up and worked on our tans whenever a strong gust came along. Eventually we will make it back to the dock right?
Stunning isn’t it?
*Check out my handy printable travel guide here to plan your own Provence roadtrip getaway!
*For boat rental info check out L’Etoile Boat Rentals website. There are electric boats and kayaks available as well!